How Physical Rehabilitation Can Redefine Aging

When it comes to growing older gracefully, it helps to take the right steps before problems arise. That’s because, even though we’re living longer, our muscles, tendons, bones, and joints still degenerate as we grow older.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and wait for it to happen. There are ways you can proactively restore or increase your flexibility, strength, range of motion, coordination, and endurance. And it only takes a good rehabilitation program.

Most people associate rehabilitation with healing from an injury or surgery. But rehabilitation programs — also known as physical therapy or rehab — can offer numerous benefits as you age, whether you have a degenerative condition or injury, or want to avoid them in the future.

At Accelerated Medical in Elko, Nevada, our team put together a list of the top five ways rehabilitation can help reimagine the aging process.

Relieves pain

Most pain develops from inactivity, muscle weakness, and injury. However, taking a targeted approach with physical rehabilitation exercises can help you increase your flexibility, strength, and range of motion.

When you have stronger muscles, it helps relieve pressure on your joints and support your spine. The result? Less pain, which allows you to remain active and move more.

Increases weekly activity

We should all move more. In fact, guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, plus two muscle-strengthening exercises sessions, each week.

Staying active helps reduce your risk of a host of health issues, like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Unfortunately, if you’re weak, injured, or having pain, it’s unlikely you’re getting the physical activity you need to maximize your health. A physical rehabilitation program not only ensures you’re strong enough for exercise, but it counts toward your weekly exercise goals!

Decreases arthritis symptoms

Arthritis is a general term for joint diseases, a common health issue that affects approximately 54 million Americans. Common signs of arthritis include:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Decreased range of motion

A physical rehabilitation program can help ease these symptoms so arthritis doesn’t interfere with your daily activities or affect your quality of life.

Speeds up the healing process after surgery

If you have to undergo surgery, starting physical rehabilitation before your procedure allows you to go into the operation stronger, which helps you recover more quickly.

And continuing with your physical rehabilitation post-surgery prevents blood clots, increases muscle strength and flexibility, and improves joint mobility.

Plus, sticking with your physical rehabilitation program after your procedure also helps you decrease pain and support the healing process. That means you can get back to your normal routine at home and work even faster.

Improves coordination and balance

Unfortunately, fall rates have increased by 30% over the last decade in the United States. In older adults, these falls can lead to injuries that can be especially problematic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people 65 and older fall each year, and 1 in 5 falls causes a serious injury, like a head injury or broken bone.

The good news is that physical rehabilitation programs can improve your balance and also reduce your risk of falling. And, as part of your program, your provider also shares exercises to improve your coordination, and they can suggest assistive devices to help with safer walking.

Ready to learn more about how a physical rehabilitation program can help you stay active and healthy as you get older? Call us at Accelerated Medical or use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation today.

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